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Archive for October, 2011

kale and marinated red cabbage salad

This salad is actually a amalgamation of things you have seen here before, but since it is such a delicious and tasty combination, I thought it would be nice to share the recipe.

all in the bowl

I made this salad the night my mother and Aunt arrived from Australia. We ate it with a creamy, celery root-cauliflower soup. I always think a nourishing vegetable soup is the perfect meal after that long flight. I also served some crispy whole wheat flat bread accompanied by Frankie’s olive oil for dipping, pomegranate seeds for sprinkling and olives I brought back from my trip to Turkey.

dinner table

One of the best things about this salad is that you can make it ahead of time and it will keep fine; I like to add the nuts and cheese right before serving. Since I already had cooked chickpeas, toasted almonds and marinated red cabbage in the fridge, all I had to do was roast some squash, slice kale and shave a little goat cheese. The cheese can easily be left out if you would like a vegan salad.

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Nishimi squash

nishimi kabocha squash

Nishimi is a cooking style, that means long cooked with little water. I think of it as the opposite to oshitashi, which is vegetables that are briefly cooked in lots of water, like the blanched watercress you may have eaten in Japanese restaurants. Nishimi is best suited to the cooler months and for root vegetables or winter squash.

It has been years since I prepared squash this way and I’d forgotten how sweet and meltingly smooth it becomes. This cooking method is perfect for dense squash, like kabocha or buttercup that have a tendency to become dry when baked.

You can prepare any vegetable Nishimi-style. Some recipes layer 3 types in the same pot; what ever vegetable you use, you will end up with a depth of flavor that is hard to believe came from such simple ingredients.

snug in pot

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Selimiye, Bozburun Peninsula

Here are some photos of what I got to see of Turkey’s south western mediterranean coast.
We picked up a boat in Marmaris and wound our way around the craggy coast of the Bozburen Peninsula to Palamat on the Daçta Peninsula. Some of the secluded bays we anchored in were accessible only by boat and populated with one building, which was usually a restaurant. The owners would greet us by row-boat as we entered their harbor and help us moore or anchor; then they would ask us what time we would like to reserve for supper. Our routine was to arrive in the afternoon and alternate between swimming and sipping wine on deck until dark.  We would then head in to shore for dinner. Our meals consisted of  mezze and if you ate fish or meat, then the catch of the day too, which was sometimes wild goat. The mezze gave me plenty of choice: mashed fava beans, purslane in thick yogurt, marinated beets, stewed eggplant and tomato, sea beans and antep ezme which became a favorite on the sandwiches we made for lunch. It’s like tomato salsa but paste-like made with a special pepper called aci pul biber. (more…)

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soup for 4

Before I post more pictures of Turkey, I wanted to squeeze in a soup recipe. Warming soups and stews are all I can think about since the weather’s cooled and firmly planted its foot in fall. I love the way this season brings everyone closer to the stove. Even if you don’t cook, there is a change in focus and a desire to nourish, warm and ground yourself. This soup does it all and although most vegetables will work for this recipe, the sweetness of winter squash really enhances the flavor of the spices.

Here I used 3 types of lentils, they all play a different roll in creating a delicious texture: the red lentils almost completely dissolve and thicken the soup; the green add a creamy texture; and the French lentils remain intact and keep the soup looking pretty.

green and red lentils

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